December 12, 2011
[We have alighted successfully at the end of our trek. While we did not have internet, I did write each day. Here is the first catch-up blog. We, however are still posting from cafes and our connections are too slow for photos.]
Addendum to Poon Hill
My previous blog shared a very brief account of our ascent up Poon Hill to watch the sunrise. In my rush to get the blog out, I did not have time to confer with the rest of our crew or share all my thoughts. Since there is only one Internet connection on this trip, I decided to write while everyone else ordered breakfast and repacked. I went to the café immediately and only had 20 minutes.
Here are a few extra items.
Liam went up the hill with 400 milliliters of water in a Nalgene bottle. By the time he had reached the top, 10% of the water had frozen while being jostled in a backpack. That confirms my previous meteorological assessment. I said that I thought “it was cold”. You can see I have some skill in this regard.
In fact, the clouds that made the sunrise so spectacular were largely to blame for the cold. A cold front had come in during the night.
We got some great family shots as well as one picture with Cool and the Gang. I hope to post the shots from our trip soon.
Typing in an open air internet café in freezing weather is not easy. It is made harder when you are on a 10+ year old keyboard that needs extra weight on the “shift” key. If both of these conditions are in place, you look like a dim monkey when you type. Cool Sir walked up while I was struggling. If he had any respect for me prior to that display, I surely eradicated it.
As long as we are sharing tidbits, here are a few others from the day.
This morning, the boys were sharing a room with 2 twin beds. As Susie walked in, both were wrestling in one bed. The two following comments came in very rapid succession:
Susie (wistfully): “My boys, just like they are back in the womb.’
Wiley (establishing a wrestling hold): “I kill you!”
Yep, love is a wonderful thing. They were both right. When Susie was pregnant, they had a 3 month soccer match inside her.
Nepal might be 2 hours and 15 minutes off Hong Kong, but we deeply suspect that the roosters think they are in China. In Pokhara, the crowing started at 3:30AM (5:45 China time).
This is not quaint. Or authentic. Or intriguing. To be honest, this really embittering. If I were crass, I would say it sucks. I am not crass, but it sucks nonetheless. Susie (generally a fanatical lover of all birds and an odd fan of chickens) was contemplating Poultricide.
We are now employing earplugs. Yep, we have stayed in 3 cities bigger than New York and 5 bigger than Houston and managed to sleep OK. But one random time-challenged rooster and we are striving for sensory deprivation.
Yesterday, when we were at the guesthouse of the questionable construction, Terrill strolled into the bathroom nearest our rooms.
“A shower sounds great. Look! They left us a back brush.”
Both Susie and I looked at each other in a way that suggested that altitude sickness was hitting her. Susie responded. “Let’s pass on that – it is a toilet brush!”
Thanks . . . I Guess
After our morning on Poon Hill, we went back out onto the trail. While we were walking along, we came upon a forest of Rhododendron with gnarled roots and reddish bark. The sun had broken through the clouds and was streaming through the canopy like light through a cathedral window.
At one point, we stopped for a rest next to a tree partly covered in moss. The moss was a vibrant olive with gold flecks in it. Terrill then made a comment.
Sometimes we say something that is absolutely true that is meant to be kind, but falls short once it trips from your tongue. I think this was such a time:
“Wiley, your eyes are like moss!”
Indeed, the moss was lovely and matched his eyes perfectly. Yet I am not sure this came off as lovingly as she intended.
Lost in Translation
Yesterday morning, Susie popped into the girls room to make sure that they were packing and getting ready for breakfast.
She emerged from their room with a radiant smile.
“Our little girl is really embracing the culture. While I was in there, she greeted me like a Nepal native and said, ‘namaste’. In fact, she repeated it to make sure I heard it.” (‘Namaste’ means ‘welcome’.)
About 4 minutes later, an exasperated Virginia ran into the breakfast area, “Mommy, why did you leave me?”
“What do you mean, Virginia?”
“I kept yelling at you.”
“Yea, I told you ‘Mamma, stay’!”